After the extended study-leave/sabbatical study leave last year (2015) of 28 dates in the United States and Canada between April and June, things have gone a bit quiet for me on the Testament of a Naked Man front! Perhaps, after that extended tour, I needed a sabbatical from the sabbatical! Certainly I’ve needed time to devote to my “day-job” and other aspects of my ministry.
Since the tour, I have done only one outside date (and one “home” date at St. Francis-in-the-Wood, West Vancouver), and I have led one weekend retreat on the Gospel of John – “Word of Light,” an Advent retreat at Rivendell Retreat Centre on Bowen Island. In fact, of late I have been doing quite a bit of work on the Gospel of John which I have now learned in its entirety in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. I have been working with Carol Coulson, my “acting coach,” working out how we might present John for dramatic performance.
The challenge we are finding with John’s Gospel is that there is much less narrative than with Mark’s Gospel, and much more dialogue – or, more specifically, monologue, as it involves extended discourses by Jesus. Obviously, there are the last supper discourses in chapters 13 through 17, but much of the rest of the Gospel also involves Jesus speaking. For example, much of chapters 5-8 are Jesus in discussion, debate, conflict with others, mainly religious authorities. So the challenge is, how do we present this material in a way that keeps the attention of the audience?
It is coming together, and hopefully we may be able to present a first public dramatization (by me) of the Gospel of John later this year. Meanwhile, I am certainly available for bookings of “Testament of a Naked Man – Good News According to Mark,” and in fact would welcome the opportunity to “keep my hand in,” so to speak! So, if you are interested in having me come to you, please get in touch with me.
Here we are! Bert Marshall, who also performs the Gospel of Mark, and I met for breakfast this past Monday at the Chelsea Royal Diner in West Brattleboro in Vermont. Continue reading
The past week once again seems to have been fairly full, beginning with three consecutive performances following the conclusion of the Merton Conference in Louisville. All seemed to go well. Then I got to have a day-off on Wednesday so headed to Sandy Hook on the Jersey shore with a great view of Manhattan and Long Island before heading north through the NYC traffic to Maine. Continue reading
Now in Louisville, Kentucky at Bellarmine University for the International Thomas Merton Society Conference where Rowan Williams gave a very inspirational talk last night on “Words, War and Silence: Thomas Merton for the 21st Century.” Continue reading
From St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, North Carolina last week I drove to the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina and spent four delicious days over the Memorial Day weekend at a beautiful National Park Service campground at Cape Point on Hatteras Island enjoying the sun and warmth as well as the sea and sand and catching up on my reading. Continue reading
Being familiar with the words of Jesus in the Gospels doesn’t make it any easier. Doesn’t mean I have greater insight or that somehow they are less disconcerting and perplexing at times. In many ways, being more familiar with these words means that they cannot be forgotten or obscured by all the other things that life brings in to mute the challenge of such words. Continue reading
I am now in Rutherfordton, North Carolina where I performed at St. Francis Episcopal Church last night for a particularly engaged and appreciative (and quite large) gathering of people, a number of whom are doing EFM (Education for Ministry). There have been a number of EFM groups attend in various places I have been to, and they always seem to be particularly clued in, perhaps because they have already studied Mark’s Gospel in some depth.
St Francis Episcopal Church in Rutherfordton, NC. Note the similarity of the lychgate with that of St. Francis-in-the-Wood. Continue reading